The Australian music scene has a long history of uncovering phenomenal talent and the occasional larrikin.
Marshall OKell was born on Good Friday, Friday the thirteenth 1979 on a full moon. His father, a Melbourne Rock and Roll Boogie Guitar player, named him Marshall Dawson OKell, the ‘Marshall’ coming from Jimi Hendrix’s middle name and the ‘Dawson’ from Johnny Winters, a Texan Albino Slide shredder. Marshall was taken home and put in a guitar case behind his old man’s Fender twin where he would sleep through high-decibel ear-piercing jam sessions. Groomed on Hendrix, Winters, Little Feat, Muddy Waters and AC-DC, his journey was set forth before he ever had a choice, a victim of rock and roll circumstance. Marshall’s father and his entourage of talented musical friends from all over Australia taught him licks, tricks, riffs, styles, techniques and drum and bass grooves.
Marshall OKell formed three-piece rock and blues band on the Far North Coast of NSW at the age of eleven The Immortal Flames, hitting the school Rock Eisteddfods and supporting older working bands in the late 90’s. Marshall would have to stay behind the stage in set breaks due to being so young looking and five years under. By the age of 19 Marshall had supported hundreds of older acts and played most of the music venues in the region, performed at smaller festivals in a punk band called Noosphere and hard rock band called Spirit.
At this time of his life Marshall felt the burning desire for more musical freedom, control and songwriting. He started singing, playing slide guitar and a new found love for songwriting was born. Within 12 months Marshall was playing and singing up to two hundred gigs a year and has not stopped till the present. He has released three albums, two EP’s and been through five tour vans.
Marshall OKell also studied a Bachelor of Social Science followed by a Dip Ed in High School teaching at Southern Cross University in 2006. Marshall completed it all the while still playing three to four gigs a week and working in a high school with special needs and local Indigenous children, and squeezing in the odd girlfriend. His love for the community and helping kids has been a huge part of the positive energy in his songs, way of life and Care for family, community and friends.
“A rip-roaring blues set that went off.” – Richard Porteous – ABC RADIO
“That’s the best music I’ve heard in years.” – Bill Chambers
His Band Marshall & The Fro released their self-titled album in 2007 and toured it nationally for three years, playing major festivals like Byron Bay Blues Fest, Woodford Festival and Festival Of The Sun to name a few. They then released their second album Friends For Life, picked up a distribution deal with Only Blues Music, a stack of awards and started working with The Harbour Booking Agency. It’s been another three years on and Marshall OKell has an exciting new project & new Band Marshall OKell & The Pride!!!
It’s the sound of Surf Roots & Australian Mojo Rock. It’s stomping in high energy yet jaw dropping and full of fresh new raw emotion. A style of music garnished and brewed in the Far North Coast surfing Mecca of Lennox Head/Byron Bay, NSW. The songs are powerful, rhythmic, energetic, honest and emotional; the live performances are full of blood, sweat and tears. Marshall OKell & The Pride performances are igniting fervent reactions all over the country. This new collaboration and now Four Piece has fans frothing!!!! Musicians that have been brought in for the new album “BIRDY” include members from Chase The Sun, Hussy Hicks, Brittle, The Habits, Hat Fitz, Kostaman & The Good Vibrations (Canada).
“You’ve made a great album. It’s not often I listen to clients records back to back these days, but yours is currently on high rotation. I can’t get enough of it.” – Anthony Lycenco (Aria Nominee, Pete Murray, Xavier Rudd)
Marshall has recently recorded a timeless album titled ‘BIRDY’ released April 2013. The album was produced by the late and very great Brian ‘BIRDY’ Burdett. Recorded in the hills of Byron Bay in the amazing Old-dog Studios and mixed by one of the country’s very best Anthony Lycenko (ARIA Nominee, Pete Murray, U2, Beautiful Girls, Xavier Rudd).
October 25, 2014 5:45 pm Main Stage – Saturday
The Festival Program is subject to change without notice.